From: Junior Associate
Re: DC v Blake
INTRODUCTION OF THE ISSUES: Police officers were called to Mr. Smith’s residency regarding a noise violation on February 4th, 2007. Officers observed the occupants, including Mr. Jonathon Blake, through the large front window of the dwelling engaged in activity that appeared to the officers as smoking marijuana. They also witnessed Mr. Blake hand over a small plastic baggie filled with suspected cocaine to another occupant. The officers were granted access to the home by Mr. Smith and noticed what appeared to be a shotgun between the couch cushions. Further inspection of the residence revealed three additional guns. Mr. Blake had a large amount of suspected marijuana and cocaine and $400 on his person. Mr. Blake is being charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Distribution of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of an Unregistered Firearm. It is in my professional opinion that the seized drugs are admissible to the court as evidence but the guns however, are not.
RULE OF LAW: As you know, the United States Constitution and its Amendments were created with the intent to protect citizens’ inalienable rights. Procedural criminal law specifically outlines the proper way(s) to enforce substantive criminal law as to ensure that an individual’s due process rights, as described within the Bill of Rights, are not violated. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unlawful (warrantless) searches and seizures. It also delineates the instances in which a search and/or seizure is appropriate without a warrant (i.e. Plain View Doctrine, Stop and Frisk, Plain Feel Doctrine, Search Incident to a Lawful Arrest). In Mr. Blake’s case, based on the exigent circumstances and the nature of the evidence involved, the officers had the legal duty to conduct all of the aforementioned warrantless, but legal, searches.
ANALYSIS: As the officers approached Mr. Smith’s residence, several occupants...